WE see it from time to time — couples get back together, even after a major break-up, and make it work. But much more often people get back together only to realise that the story ends the same way — a rehash of why they broke up in the first place.
Thinking about rekindling the flames with your ex-lover? Relationship counsellor Wayne Powell shares 10 reasons you should reconsider.
1. A leopard never changes its spots
The saying a leopard never changes its spots has merit. We often see in relationships that a person may not be willing or able to change his “spots” and so his bad habits remain. This is a clear set-up for heartbreak; things are likely to lead you down the same road again.
2. You didn't resolve your issues.
An important question to ask yourself is, were the issues that caused the break-up addressed? If not, it will be a repeat and/or there will be a continuation of relational challenges. Spare yourself the trouble, especially when you know that your ex is not willing to put in the work to have the matter(s) resolved. Taking your ex back would also mean that you may inherit additional issues that will not get resolved and again will lead to the demise of the relationship. You don't want to keep spinning yourself in a circle.
3. The relationship was toxic
If the relationship was toxic before the break-up then chances are the toxicity could increase on your return. He or she may think also that you are willing to deal with a certain level of toxicity and might not put any effort at all into purging the union of these toxic features and energies.
4. You were the side chick
If you were the “other woman” and you left the relationship, a return may cause you more emotional pain and suffering. It also sends the message that you do not know your worth, you are willing to accept anything, you don't mind being just the other woman, and even sometimes he will take it to mean that you love him more than you love yourself. Chances are, all he will do is to continue to give you all the “what left”. Save yourself, work on yourself, and you will attract a man who will give you the love you have been searching for.
5. Your ex is abusive
Getting out of an abusive relationship alive these days is rare. We see these unfortunate stories often in the news. If you can loosen yourself from the grips of an abusive partner, whether this may be physically, emotionally or both, then you should count your lucky stars and not look back. Going back to an abusive partner, especially one who doesn't see a problem with his actions, does not want to get help, and/or is not getting professional help, would be a “suicidal” move.
6. Your ex was dishonest
If dishonesty and cheating were features of the relationship, then there is a slim chance that your partner would now have changed his behavioural patterns if and when you return.
7. Your ex is selfish or had a selfish objective in mind
Be careful that you are not being lured back in to satisfy someone's agenda and then you get locked in. Some people are only loyal to their need for you. Chances are you will be discarded as soon as he is through with you.
8. If he has done it once he will do it again
Humans are creatures of habit. The proverb, “Once bitten twice shy”, describes this trait best. It may aptly apply here as a warning to stay clear of people and situations that hurt you in the past. Taking back your ex leaves you vulnerable to the same magnitude of hurt that you would have endured before.
9. The relationship felt like work
So you felt you constantly had to be doing the same things over and over, investing and reinvesting. It was taking a lot out of you, but it never seemed like it was ever enough to keep the relationship afloat. This sometimes means that the relationship has run its course and you need not resuscitate something that serves you better when it is dead.
10. You would be settling
Whether you are the one who initiated the break-up or the one who just went along, going back to your ex cannot honestly feel like an ideal situation. It means that you acknowledge that there is something better out there for you, something lacking in the relationship that you want to be fulfilled. If you are just going back because you know your ex well, you are too lazy to date and get to know someone all over again, or because you have been through a lot together, then you really shouldn't go back to your ex. You could be denying yourself happiness and meeting the person you don't want to break up with or who wouldn't want to break up with you.
Powell advised that if it is that you decide to go back to an ex at some point, you should always make sure that it's on your terms as anything less will be business as usual.